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New, Increased fees for International Students, Exchange Visitors, and SEVP-Certified Schools

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Pasricha & Patel Takeaways:

Starting on June 24, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security will formally increase some fees, as well as add new fees charged by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to international students, exchange visitors and SEVP-certified schools.

The fee increases are as follows:

  • The I-901 SEVIS fee for F and M international students will increase from $200.00 to $350.00.
  • DHS will still keep the same $35.00 I-901 SEVIS fee for J exchange visitors in the au pair, camp counselor, and summer work travel program participant categories, but increase the full I-901 SEVIS fee for other J exchange visitors from $180.00 to $220.00.
  • The SEVP school certification petition fee for initial certification will increase from $1,700.00 to $3,000.00.

The new fees are as follows:

  • A $1,250.00 fee for SEVP-certified schools filing a petition for recertification.
  • A $675.00 fee when schools file the Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion.
  • DHS will still keep the same $655.00 for an initial school site visit, but will also charge this fee when a SEVP-certified school changes its physical location or adds a new physical location or campus to its Form I-17, “Petition for Approval of School for Attendance by Nonimmigrant Student”.

DHS explains that the increase in fees, as well as the additional fees, are based on estimates of the current and future projected costs to fund the SEVP operations. DHS points out that SEVP is funded entirely by fees, and receives no government funding from Congress. And as SEVP fees have not changed since 2008, the cost of operating the SEVP program has grown due to inflation, expansion of program operations and enhancements made to the SEVIS program over the years. The new and increased fees are needed to continue to provide oversight of international students and SEVP-certified schools.

DHS, and more specifically, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), administers the SEVP program, which monitors more than one million international students who are pursuing academic or vocational students (F and M visa holders) in the U.S. and their dependents. SEVP also certifies schools and programs that enroll these students.

SEVP also collects and shares SEVIS information with government partners, such as the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) and USCIS. And the HSI (Homeland Security Initiative) reviews SEVIS records for potential violations and refers cases with possible national security or public safety concerns to its field offices for further investigations.

For any updates regarding news about the SEVP program, we encourage readers to visit our site regularly. And should the readers have any further in-depth questions about the F visa and related issues, we also suggest you to contact our office and schedule further consultation.